Town receives $500,000 grant

Erin Smith Staff writer

October 12, 2013

ELIZABETHTOWN — Residents of the town of Elizabethtown will soon be getting new water meters, thanks to a $500,000 grant from the N.C. Rural Center and a zero-percent fixed rate loan from the N.C. State Revolving Loan Fund.

“We are replacing all of the residential meters throughout the town with a system that is more accurate. It will require less personnel,” said Elizabethtown Town Manager Eddie Madden.

He said that should result in a decrease in the town’s worker’s comp insurance because the town will not be relying on personnel to to read the meters. Madden said currently when town personnel must physically read meters, they have to go to the water meter box, remove the lid and there hazards involved such as the potential for spider bites, trip hazards and dog bites.

The new system is a wireless meter reading system that uses a technology similar to cell phone technology to communicate meter reading back to the water department at different intervals throughout the day, said Madden.

“One of the benefits is that it reads the meter every 3 minutes. This is particularly important in cases where a leak exists at a residence. We can detect the leak and notify the customer of the leak so they can make the repairs in a timely fashion and prevent loss of water from the system,” said Madden.

He explained that each morning the water department will receive a leak detection report and they will notify anyone on that list so they can investigate the leak.

He added the change out should begin at the end of October.

“We took delivery of the first shipment this morning (Friday),” said Madden.

He added that the town was selected by the Rural Center about three years ago to participate in the program.

“It is more or less a pilot program for small towns like ours,” said Madden.